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Two vee oak not to vee

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The Department for Transport has admitted that after receiving Douglas Oakervee’s ‘draft’ HS2 report, it tasked officials to carry out ‘further research’, but denied this would see them work on the report itself, Transport Network reported on 5 February.

[Sexed-up? HS2 report being rewritten,
Dom Browne and Chris Ames, Feb 5, 2020][…]

When asked whether the work of these officials would influence the final report, a press officer stated that ‘Oakervee is writing the report’ but refused to say whether the DfT would edit the report or ask Mr Oakervee to do so on the basis of this further work.

When asked to confirm or deny whether the department would make an changes to the draft or final report, the spokesman repeated the phrase ‘Oakervee is writing the report’ and once again refused to engage with the question of influence or editing.

The spokesman also claimed that the report was still in draft reform – and so running months late – because of the general election, depite the fact the final report was due to be handed in before the election in the autumn, that the case for HS2 predates the general election anouncement by some years and the fact that the review was supposed to be ‘independent’ of politics.

Transport Network, 'Oakervee report 'edited' in favour of HS2', 05 Feb 2020

Oakervee review member Lord Tony Berkeley, who has published his own dissenting report on HS2, described the official review as a whitewash, and suspected there has been ‘continuous improvement’ of it ‘without anyone knowing’.

It remains unclear whether excerpts tweeted from the Oakervee report by BBC transport correspondent Tom Burridge on 3 and 4 February are from the final version of the document.

Written by beleben

February 7, 2020 at 10:54 am

Posted in HS2

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